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Recently, the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment and chemical leak caused heightened health and environmental concerns. Videos show rainbow-colored slicks spreading across the surface of small streams near the site of the disaster. Experts say that the chemical contamination is likely vinyl chloride, which leaked and burned following the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train.
Source: Forbes Breaking News/Youtube
The oily sheen left by burned chemicals has drifted back down to the ground and into the water, affecting both health and environment. Authorities reported that around 3,500 small fish were killed in the creeks surrounding the derailment site shortly after the crash, leak, and burn, but they have not reported significant subsequent deaths. However, a new federal lawsuit claims that fish and wild animals are dying as far as 20 miles away from the site of the derailment.
The videos posted by several people, including Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance, have raised concerns about the health risks of the creek contamination. Groundwater contamination has occurred, but contamination does not necessarily mean there’s a health risk. Short-term exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride in the air can make people dizzy or give them headaches, while long-term exposure can cause liver damage.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has asked CDC doctors and experts to help screen area residents for illness, and state and federal environmental experts are overseeing monitoring and cleanup efforts. Norfolk Southern has said it will install wells to monitor groundwater, and officials will sample soil in key areas, including near where the cars filled with vinyl chloride burned.
The incident is a reminder of the importance of enforcing environmental regulations and the impact of reducing our waste on the environment. We must be aware of the environmental risks that come with everyday actions such as disposing of waste or buying harmful products. We must take action to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Simple actions such as composting organic waste and reducing our use of single-use plastics can go a long way in preventing environmental disasters like this. By working together and taking action, we can create a better, more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.
The Ohio train derailment and chemical leak have caused heightened health and environmental concerns in the area. It’s important to understand the risks and to take action to reduce our impact on the environment. We can start by being mindful of our waste and reducing our use of harmful products. Together, we can make a difference and create a more sustainable future.
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